Have you been affected by the home insurers that are pulling out of Florida? Some insurance companies that have pulled out of Florida or taken steps to reduce their exposure include AAA, Farmers Insurance, Bankers Insurance and Lexington Insurance. Many others have scaled back their operations in Florida. This has left tens of thousands of homeowners looking for new insurance carriers and homeowners policies. Let’s take a look at why this is happening and how you can find another insurance policy in the state of Florida.
Insurance Carriers that Have Pulled out of Florida or Scaled Back Their Operations
Several insurance carriers have decided to pull out of the Florida market or greatly scale back their operations. In addition, there are 18 other insurance carriers that are being watched due to potential insolvency.
- AAA – Choosing not to renew some policies.
- Farmers Insurance – Leaving Florida. However, its subsidiaries, Bristol West and Foremost, will still write Florida homeowners policies.
- Southern Fidelity – Became Insolvent.
- United Insurance Holding Group – No longer Serving Florida, Texas and Louisiana.
- Weston Property and Casualty – Ordered into Receivership. Policies ended on September 7, 2022.
Why Are Insurance Carriers Leaving Florida?
If you’re a Florida resident, you’ve probably heard that insurance carriers are leaving the market due to the increase in severe weather and hurricanes. However, that’s not the only reason insurance are leaving the market. It’s also due to the legal costs of fighting litigation when claims are denied and fraudulent claims are filed. According to USA Today, 80 percent of insurance lawsuits over denied claims are in Florida. By contrast, only 9 percent of the insurance claims in the United States are in Florida. The increase in legal costs for insurance carriers can be linked back to a 2017 court ruling that favored plaintiffs. The court case in question was Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) v. Alysia M. Macedo. In this court case, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that ambiguous terms in the policy must be found in favor of the policyholder or the insurance coverage.
Additionally, Florida allows homeowners to sign over their rights to transfer their rights to sue insurance companies for denial of claims to other parties. When DeSantis visited Florida in 2022 just after Hurricane Ian, he blamed lawsuits for rising premiums and disappearing insurance carriers. Specifically, the problem appears to lie with roofing companies, who drive around after severe storms, knock on doors and persuade homeowners to undergo a roof inspection. Then, the homeowner signs away their right to sue the insurance company over the claim to the roofing company. The roofing company files the claim for the roofing repairs. The insurance company denies it, and the roofing company sues the insurance company over the denial. In many cases, the roofing company settles, but the costs associated with the lawsuit were oftentimes more than the cost of the new roof.
The truth is that it’s probably a combination of factors that have resulted in insurance carriers leaving the Florida market. However, there are still things you can do in order to get a new policy and keep your home insured.
What to Do if Your Insurance Company Refuses or Renew Your Homeowners Policy
The easiest course of action is to try and appeal the insurance carrier’s decision. However, if your insurance carrier is leaving the state, you may not have this option. Your next course of action should be to find a new insurance carrier, like Fearnow Insurance, which is an independent insurance carrier. You can also try to get a policy with Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, which is the backup for homeowners who cannot find affordable policies on the private insurance market.
- Find Out Why Your Current Policy Is Being Canceled – Once you receive your cancelation or nonrenewal notice, contact your current insurance carrier and have them tell you the reason. They should also mail you that reason in writing and give you a chance to appeal, if they aren’t completely leaving the Florida market.
- Get Quotes From Other Insurance Carriers – If you can’t appeal or your appeal was denied, get quotes from other insurance carriers in Florida, like Fearnow. Another insurance agency, especially an independent carrier that has access to numerous policies from multiple insurance companies, can help you find a new, affordable policy.
- Make Sure Your Home Is in Good Repair – In order to make it more likely that your new insurance carrier will accept your homeowners insurance application, make sure your home is in good repair. This could mean installing a new roof and upgrading your home to increase its resilience against high winds and hurricanes.
- Contact FLOIR for Help – If you truly cannot find an affordable insurance company, you can contact the Florida Department of Insurance Regulation. FLOIR can help you if you’re being treated unfairly by insurance carriers and offer ideas if you’re having trouble finding homeowners insurance.
Florida Homeowners Insurance with Fearnow
If you need homeowners insurance after your current carrier has sent you a notice of nonrenewal or moved out of the state of Florida, contact us at Fearnow. We offer homeowners, renters, mobile home, condo and even landlords insurance, and we’re often up to 37 percent cheaper than other insurance carriers. We can accomplish this by looking through the insurance policies of more than 100 different carriers in order to find you better coverage at your current price or a less expensive policy that still meets all of your needs.
To learn more and get a quote for a new homeowners insurance policy, call us at 813-981-7862.